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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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2585. EMBARGO, Submission, or War?—[continued].
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2585. EMBARGO, Submission, or War?—[continued].

The congressional campaign
is just opening. Three alternatives alone
are to be chosen from. 1. Embargo. 2. War.
3. Submission and tribute. And, wonderful to
tell, the last will not want advocates. The real
question, however, will lie between the two first,
on which there is considerable division. As yet,
the first seems most to prevail; but opinions
are by no means yet settled down. Perhaps the
advocates of the second may, to a formal declaration
of war, prefer general letters of marque
and reprisal, because, on a repeal of their edicts
by the belligerent, a revocation of the letters
of marque restores peace without the delay, difficulties,
and ceremonies of a treaty. On this occasion,
I think it is fair to leave to those who
are to act on them, the decisions they prefer,
being to be myself but a spectator. I should not
feel justified in directing measures which those
who are to execute them would disapprove. Our
situation is truly difficult. We have been pressed
by the belligerents to the very wall, and all further
retreat is impracticable.—
To Levi Lincoln. Washington ed. v, 387. Ford ed., ix, 227.
(W. Nov. 1808)